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Polaroid Prints an Ugly Picture for its Fourth Quarter

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gave markets a better picture of its fourth-quarter earnings. A better picture, that is, after popping it out, shaking it and blowing on the result.

But let's call a spade a spade. The untouched picture isn't good. Polaroid said it sees fourth-quarter earnings coming in at "break-even," well below current earnings estimates of 52 cents a share. The film and camera maker did not disclose actual per-share earnings. Polaroid also said it has a more conservative outlook for 2001.

Polaroid blamed the miss on lower shipments and "unfavorable manufacturing variances," saying that its fourth-quarter revenues could be off by $60 million to $70 million, affecting $40 million to $45 million in operating profit.

The company had already cut back manufacturing output because of lower demand.

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Polaroid vowed to sell underutilized real estate assets, reduce manufacturing costs and overhead, and come up with new products. The company estimates these rather vague sounding initiatives will help it generate cash, reduce debt by at least $100 million and "navigate a potentially extended economic downturn."

Earlier this week,

Eastman Kodak


warned that fourth-quarter earnings will come in between 65 and 75 cents a share, well short of the $1.07 expected by the folks at earnings tracker

First Call/Thomson Financial

. The full-year 2001 is now expected to come in between $4.65 and $4.75 a share, again, much lower than the analyst expectations of $5.07 a share.